Tuesday, Aug. 04, 2009

Pet Therapy

When you're feeling down, why not turn to Paro, the cuddly, furry robotic baby seal? Paro, developed by Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, is modeled after a Canadian harp seal, recordings of which provide the crying noises that Paro makes while it blinks adorably at you under its long robotic eyelashes. The robot responds to petting by moving its tail and opening and closing its eyes. First exhibited to the public in 2001, Paro is said to have a calming effect on people and is intended for patients of hospitals and nursing homes. The furry invention is reportedly already in use in nursing facilities in Japan and Denmark.